Tag Archives: creativity

When We Hit The Wall

The ebb and flow of the creative process presents us with two very different ways of looking at the times of stillness. It can feel like a dreaded curse, or an invitation to enter our soft inner cocoon and transform, even just a little.

This poem is for everyone who has ever felt stuck, lost and hopeless, and is a reminder that only in the darkness can we see the stars.

When We Hit The Wall

{A Poem} By Jenn Lui

The landscape before us changes
There is an unbearable stillness
In the air that grows stale and wretch
All colors fade and retreat

The great expanse curls and shrivel
Dries up on itself and shrinks
Hardened and cruel
Into the wall before us pressing tightly

The air grows thicker and thicker
Gasping and panicking we scream
Our bloody fingers scratching
For freedom beyond this confinement

We look up and see the engulfing dark sky above
Stars shining brighter than ever before
Amazed and bewildered we stare
And see the same stars in each other’s eyes

We remember once again the greatest truth
Of the magnificent illusion
The continuous nature of time and space
Our hurried heart beats begin to slow

Suddenly the hard and jagged walls soften
Surrounding us instead like a blanket
Warm and gentle beckoning us to rest
Our healing cocoon holding us safely

When we hit the wall
It can be hard, cold and cruel
Or softly inviting us to transformation
Until we emerged anew into the world

Bleed it out

Photo: Bleed it out by Jenn Grosso

Within this stuck-ness, if I can dig a little deeper and open myself up a little more, there’s a well inside waiting. Waiting for me to have the courage to embrace it all and bleed it out.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

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Filed under Honoring the Medicine, Poetic Insights

The Secret Life of Frida Kahlo

A Where Is My Guru #BookGuru review of F.G. Haghenbeck’s “The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo – A Novel”, by Jenn Grosso originally posted on the #WIMG Blog.

“Have the courage to live, because anyone can die.”

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Frida Kahlo, known today as one of Mexico’s iconic revolutionary painters, as well as an inspiration for who the title “Patron Saint of the Arts” has been most sweetly bestowed, teaches us that despite all our challenges we can live life passionately and fully. From poor health, a near death trolley accident at the age of eighteen and constant physical pain, to an intense but turbulent marriage, Frida shows us true strength and determination.

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“I suffered two grave accidents in my life…. One in which a streetcar knocked me down and the other was Diego.”

F.G. Haghenbeck takes us on a wonderful and colorful trip based on the known events of Frida Kahlo’s life, and has embellished them creating this intense work of fiction to show us all the different facets of Frida. We experience Frida, as the incredibly fragile woman who constantly struggled with her health and heartbreak; to the passionate and willful rebel who consumed everyone around her through her eccentric personality, love of her culture and cuisine.

Even though fictitious, I feel as though I have experienced little intimate glimpses into Frida Kahlo’s actual life. I have felt through these pages, her complete desperation and her constant struggle to simply carry on, but that at her strongest, Frida conquered her world. Through it all Frida turns to the beauty around her for strength and with brush to canvas, she poured herself into her art that has inspired beyond her time. Frida says she has always painted to “allay her fears and pain”, and left behind not only a legacy as an artist but also as a feminist, political fighter and someone who lived her beliefs without apology and without hesitation. Larger than life, being Frida was her ultimate work of art.

 “Then maybe something of me is coming through in the salt. To live life, you have to season it.”

Tune into this Friday’s Where Is My Guru Radio Show for more of The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo and how Frida has inspired me on my own journey.

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Filed under Out There in the World, WIMG Book Guru

Be You Media Group’s Artist of the Week: Jenn Grosso

I’m so excited to be featured as this week’s Be You Media Group Artist of the Week!

I believe we all have something to share in our lifetime, something that’s uniquely from ourselves. So share what inspires you, what brings you alive, because maybe without you it might never be seen in the unique way that you can share it.

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I’m happy to have had the opportunity to share my own creative process and what being an artist means to me. Check out the post here.

I create because I’ve always felt a powerful and constant need to create, a drive to outwardly express what’s going on inside of myself. I create because this is one of the ways I make sense of my world and my struggles. I see my creative process and expression as being intimately tied to my spiritual practices; they are two sides of the same coin. Being an artist, a student of spirituality, a yogini and meditator, are all tools that I use for my self-development that propel me forward on my life’s journey.

My influences and inspiration come from everywhere and in every possible media. I believe that everything has beauty, and proceed through my days with my eyes, mind, and heart open to receiving. Through my time in nature, connecting with other artists and people, through music, reading and research, I never run out of inspiration. I just have to take the time to see it, to feel it and process it.

As an artist, I’ve never been able to confine myself to just one medium. I experiment and have experimented with so many, although I always seem to come back to photography, painting, collage/mixed media, and writing. Truth be told, I’ve sometimes gotten down on myself for not picking one medium, for not being more “focused” and getting really good at one thing. How my passion, curiosity and desire to explore and learn has held me back as a “successful” artist, but then I remind myself that these are the qualities that in my opinion make me an artist to begin with. I’ve realized that I can’t just stick to one thing, for me that isn’t conducive to making art. My life IS my art, day in and day out I create with how I see the world around me, by how I honor its beauty in all the little ways that I do, and share this with others. That is my art, the medium becomes irrelevant.

Through every action I am creating; I create my mindset, my environment and my future. To me this is the most fantastic creative act of all. To create ourselves! My art is simply a by-product of this. All of my experiences are a part of my creative process… and so my whole life is dedicated to finding inspiration, to being inspired and to inspire others.

jenngrosso

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Filed under Be You Media Group, Out There in the World, Spilling Open

Hitching a Ride out of Funk-Town

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I’ve been in a funk.

A pretty drawn out creative funk that has my heart palpitating and my whole being put into question. It’s that time of year where this feeling resonates with so many others as well. And while I’m sorry some of you experience this too, it helps to know that I’m not alone.

It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, that I don’t have ideas, or that I’m not inspired. Actually, I find myself continuously inspired by my surroundings and even here online as well. But every time I sit down to write or to brainstorm another art project I come up empty handed. It’s just not flowing out of me. It’s in there, I can feel it, but it doesn’t want to come out and play.

So a few stops back in Freak-out Ville, I decided to surrender. “Fine” I exclaimed, “You win”. And I threw up my white flag. Perhaps creativity has left me for good I thought, I’m all dried up. Deep down however, I knew that wasn’t true (the proof being this post of course), but sometimes, it really can feel that way.

Instead of coaxing the creativity out of me, I took a step back and decided to refill the well inside myself. That can take some time, but in my experience, letting things jive in their own way is the surest path to getting back on track.

I’m a self-proclaimed book nerd because well, I read all the time, and here, in this massive void of a funk is no exception. I find that seeking guidance in the pages written by those who’ve come before me to be a huge inspiration in getting out of my funk, so I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on. Books that I’ve read many times before, subjects that I haven’t read about in years, and even taking on new books that I might not usually read during times when I’m busy creating, writing, and making. Early morning into late at night, I’ve been letting one book lead voraciously to the next to the next to the next.

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Photo: Jenn Lui, Late night reading

“Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” ~ William Faulkner

Along those same lines, I’ve been researching… for fun. If something inspires me, I dig deeper for more information and knowledge on the subject. And while this research might not produce any tangible immediate results in my creative endeavors, I know it’s all gets stored in that brain of mine and I’m sure at some point, it will find its way back out and come in handy. What’s most important however is that it’s getting me to think in new ways while also keeping me in touch with my curiosity and at the very edge of that fantastical creative energy that was elusive to me.

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Photo: Jenn Lui, Research Mode

I’ve come to believe curiosity is the key to flowing creativity.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” ~ Albert Einstein

And so I find that without fail, after spending a bit of time turning inwards and nourishing my curious creative core that once again, things began to flow. Big ideas that were formless just a short while ago have taken shape, and those foggy concepts that were out of reach are now right in front of me and ready to become something concrete in this world.

During any stay in Funk-Town, it can be a very scary thing to have complete faith that creative productivity will return. But as we trust and surrender to the time when our creative beings need nourishment and restoration, we will find they never actually left us but instead, just spent a bit of time in hibernation. And it is with that knowledge that we set the intention to listen sooner next time, and where we thought there was some level of failure, we now instead see it as a reminder to turn inward and embrace our own creative changing seasons.

My last piece of advice, if you should happen to find yourself in Funk-town, and are compelled to get out of bed at whatever ridiculous hour because you finally have that incredible urge to spill yourself on paper, canvas, or whatever other media, then get out of bed and run. Run like the whole house is burning down and let it all spill out like your survival depended on it. It doesn’t matter what comes out, just that you get it out.

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” ~ Saul Bellow

I’m happy that I followed that advice myself, or this post would have never come into existence. And it’s with one little step like this that can snowball into other ideas spilling out and now I’m on a roll.

Goodbye Funk-Town. I’m sure I’ll be visiting you again, but hopefully not anytime soon.

Originally Published on Elephant Journal

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/03/hitching-a-ride-out-of-funk-town/

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Filed under Elephant Journal, Out There in the World, Spilling Open